Individual and Family Services

Welcome to the Union County Division of Individual and Family Support Services


The main focus of the Department of Human Services is to coordinate and deliver quality, cost-effective programs and services that improve the lives of Union County residents and strengthen communities.  The Division of Individual & Family Support Services aims to provide an array of county-wide human services programming through the most cost effective use of funding from County, State and Federal resources.  This is accomplished either by direct delivery of services or by funding community-based organizations to deliver services. 

The Division is responsible for grants management and/or direct service provision for the following 4 subdivisions/units:

  • Office on the Homeless and Housing Continuum of Care
  • Office on Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse
  • Rape Crisis Center
  • Office for Persons with Disabilities & Special Needs 

Furthermore, the Division staffs various Commissioner-appointed advisory boards that provide oversight and guidance for the grant-funded service delivery systems pertaining to each program area.

Contact Us

Christina M. Topolosky, Division Director 908-527-4839

Elizabeth Paskewich, Assistant Division Director 908-527-4883

Office on Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse

The Office on Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse is available to help you find a resource to address your well-being. If you are looking for specific information about services for Mental Health, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, or prevention efforts, please click on the links provided below.

Planning Cycle 2020-2023
Mental Health Services 
Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services
Alliance to Prevent Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

Fresh Start

Mobile trailer with access to clean showers, laundry services and bathroom facilities to individuals in need throughout Union County.

Visit website

Code Blue (CB) Emergency Shelter Initiative

About the Initiative

In an effort to respond to the plight of homeless individuals and families during severe winter weather, Union County Department of Human Service, in concert with the Division of Emergency Management and Union County Police implemented a Countywide Code Blue (CB) in December 2007 to prevent death and injury among homeless people during periods of extreme weather conditions. Union County’s CB initiative is the first countywide service of its kind in New Jersey. As a model for innovation and responsiveness, CB received the 2009 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.

A CB alert starts with the Union County Office of Emergency Management, which transmits warnings of severe, potentially life-threatening cold weather from the National Weather Service.  The threshold for activating CB is an overnight temperature below 25 degrees Fahrenheit or temperature of below 32 degrees Fahrenheit with precipitation. The alert goes out to the county’s Department of Human Services, which notifies emergency shelters, community organizations, and the County Police. The County Police get the word out to law enforcement personnel in all 21 municipalities. The early warning gives communities time to identify and locate people potentially in need of help. Shelters get time to arrange for extra beds using cots provided by the County. County and municipal police go on the lookout for persons needing shelter, and assist them with transportation.

All CB shelter placements are made by the Division of Social Services.  During the CB period emergency shelters are expected to increase bed capacity.  Once shelters are filled to capacity alternate arrangements will be made by Union County Division of Social Services.  Along with providing temporary shelter, CB helps tackle issues related to chronic homelessness.  Persons seeking emergency shelter on a CB alert are provided with screening and counseling to help them get back on their feet over the long run.

Code Blue Procedures
  • Individuals and families should be referred to UCDSS between 8:30 A.M. and 3:00 P.M.
  • After hours (after 3:00pm) and when County offices are closed, all after hour referrals should be directed to the NJ Homeless 24-Hour Hotline at (878) 746-5211.  Additionally, walk-ins will be accepted at the Salvation Army (located in Elizabeth).
  • Municipal Police Departments have been asked to transport individuals found on the street during a CB to UCDSS between the business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • REMINDER: On days when CB is not activated, after hour referrals should continue to be directed to the NJ Homeless 24-Hour Hotline (878) 746-5211.

As a reminder, to receive the CB Notifications you must be registered for the distribution list.  Please follow the instructions below:

All CB alerts will be sent via the Union County First Alert system.  If you would like to register, please email and include the following information: your first & last name and e-mail address.  Once provided, you will receive an email containing a registration link allowing you to modify your new account and add your contact information in it.

Continuum of Care/Homeless Unit

If you have any questions, please contact:

  • Agnes Oboz at 908-527-4828 or
  • Nicole DeAugustine at 908-527-4874 or
  • Note that location/time is subject to change. If you have any questions, please contact the CEAS/CoC Committee support staff at 908-527-4828.

Staff Contacts

  • Nicole DeAugustine at 908-527-4874 or
  • Eva Altidor at 908-527-4861 or
  • Agnes Oboz at 908-527-4828 or
  • Raymond Gora at 908-527-4837 or
  • Nijyyah Colter at 908-527-4841 or


The mission of the Union County Department of Human Services is to coordinate and deliver quality, cost-effective programs and services that recognize and respond to quality-of-life needs of Union County’s elderly, poor, underemployed and youth populations.  The Division of Planning’s responsibility is to facilitate provision of a wide variety of countywide social and supportive service programs, including but not limited to, those homeless assistance services made available by local provider agencies.

The Union County Continuum of Care/Homeless (CoC/H) unit provides information and referral on safety-net services to promote self-sufficiency.  Services are contracted with community and faith-based agencies specializing in homeless services (including homeless prevention).  Staff support for the Comprehensive Emergency Assistance Systems and Continuum of Care (CEAS/CoC) Committee is also provided.  To join CEAS/CoC Committee and/or be added to the distribution list: please check out the Agency Contact & Voting Representative Information Form.

The CEAS/CoC Committee usually meets the 2nd Thursday of every month (unless otherwise indicated*), starting in January. Please note that CEAS/CoC does not meet during the months of July and August. The 2020 meeting schedule is as follows:

  • dates coming soon

Kindly add these dates to your calendar as your attendance and participation are important to overall CoC efforts in combating homelessness.  Please refer to meeting notice as the date/location/ time are subject to change.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Agnes Oboz at 908-527-4828 or
Nicole DeAugustine at 908-527-4874 or

Note that location/time is subject to change. If you have any questions, please contact the CEAS/CoC Committee support staff at 908-527-4828.

Proposed Agenda for the next CEAS/CoC meeting: September 13th

Collaborative Application for the FY2022 SuperNOFA CoC Program Competition

Collaborative Application for the FY2021 SuperNOFA CoC Program Competition

Collaborative Application for the FY2019 SuperNOFA CoC Program Competition

Collaborative Application for the FY2018 SuperNOFA CoC Program Competition

Collaborative Application for the FY2017 SuperNOFA CoC Program Competition

2017 Point‐In‐Time Count of the Homeless Conducted on January 24, 2017.

For more information about homeless and homeless prevention service providers, please check out the Union County Homeless Services Resource Directoryand Quick Reference Sheet.

The Union County 24-Hour Homeless Hotline is: 908-249-4815.

For information about Foreclosure Assistance, please check out the Foreclosure Resources, provided by the Union County Foreclosure Task Force.

For information about the Code Blue Homeless Emergency Shelter Initiative, please check out the Code Blue website.

Additional Resources:
Staff Contacts for the CoC/H Unit:
  • 908-527-4861 (Homeless & Homeless Prevention Information/Referral)
  • 908-527-4841 (Homeless & Homeless Prevention Information/Referral)
  • 908-527-4837 (Continuum of Care & Information/Referral)
  • 908-527-4828 (Continuum of Care & Information/Referral)

Human Services Advisory Council

The Union County Human Services Advisory Council (HSAC) function and responsibility is to develop and implement a process through which the human service needs of the people of Union County can be addressed by advocating for human services programming in an organized and cooperative manner, thereby ensuring the effective use of resources in the most equitable way, while enhancing communication and coordination among service providers, funding agents and recipients of services.

In each County throughout NJ, HSAC serves as the primary vehicle for making local recommendations to assist both the County government and the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) and Children & Families (DCF) decision making; identifying the high priority human service needs for the community at-large; the coordination and improvement of services to target populations; the planning, coordination and implementation of NJDHS/NJDCF initiatives at the county level; and input to the NJDHS/NJDCF on funding priorities and allocations.

Each year HSAC reviews and evaluates the following programs for funding for the Family & Support Service Program (FSP), Community Service Block Grant (CSBG), HEARTH Emergency Solutions Grant (HES) and Social Services for the Homeless (SSH).

HSAC usually meets the 1st Wednesday of every month (unless otherwise indicated*), starting in February.  Please note that CEAS/CoC does not meet during the months of January, July and August.  The 2020 meeting schedule is as follows:

Time and Location

  • 9:00 AM
  • Warinanco Park Sports Center, 1 Park Drive, Roselle, NJ 07203
Meeting Dates
  • Dates coming soon


Jennifer Navas 908-527-4282

Please note that the meeting date, time and location are subject to change. If you are interested in becoming a member and/or have any questions, please contact the HSAC staff noted below.

Intoxicated Driver Resource Center

Phone: 908-527-4847 E-mail

All Union County Intoxicated Driving Resource Center (IDRC) classes have resumed. If you have questions, please email or call 908-527-4847. Please note that there may be a delay in IDRC response due to increased call/email volume during this time.

Rape Crisis Center

Administrator: Tamara Adelman
24-hour Hotline: 908-233-RAPE (7273)
TTY: 908-232-1435
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Brochures:English Spanish

What is the Union County Rape Crisis Center?

Under the auspices of the Union County Department of Human Services, Division of Planning, the Union County Rape Crisis Center (UCRCC) offers a network of services to Survivors of sexual assault.

What Are The Services Offered?

908-233-RAPE (7273)

Accompaniment to Hospitals, Police Departments, and Court by certified Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates.

Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates receive specialized training on sexual trauma, crisis intervention, and advocacy.


Staff can provide consultation to service providers in the community working with survivors of sexual assault.

In-Service Training

To mental health professionals, hospital personnel, and law enforcement. 

Resource Center

Informative materials on rape, incest, sexual harassment, and child sexual abuse are available.


A major objective of the Union County Rape Crisis Center (UCRCC) is to implement primary prevention education throughout Union County.  The New Mexico Media Literacy Project (NMMLP), also referred to as “Media Literacy”, is currently being used to achieve this goal.

Today, the definition of what it means to be a “man or woman” is increasingly influenced by mass media.  It is therefore believed, that youth can especially benefit from assistance with developing critical thinking skills. Such skills can aid them in effectively navigating the negative dimensions of popular culture including violence, gender stereotyping, and sexualized media content.

The UCRCC is implementing a fun, dynamic Media Literacy curriculum for high schools in Union County.  This curriculum teaches students how to analyze and evaluate the way media shapes gender roles, impacts self-image, and influences behavior.  It is believed that by becoming empowered and self-aware, youth will be more effective at resisting the constant stream of violent or hyper-sexualized messages in print, television, or online.

If you are interested in learning more, please do not hesitate to contact the Union County Rape Crisis Center at (908) 233-7273.

All Services Are Confidential and Free of Charge

Office for Persons with Disabilities & Special Needs

The Office for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs offers social and recreational opportunities to individuals of all abilities and ages from elementary school children to senior adults.

In addition to activities, the Office provides information and referral to community resources such as rental and utility assistance, entitlements, accessibility issues, transition services and more.

The Office’s main goal is to advocate for persons with disabilities of all ages, as well as ensure inclusion and accessibility in all aspects of community life.

Visit our Website